Two taxi drivers who started a clothing brand ‘by accident’ donate all their profits and then want to grow even more.
Daniel O’Connell and Pete Adams are cab drivers and absolutely inseparable, but they spent most of their childhood apart after their mother separated from Pete’s father.
After finding their way back to each other over the years, they are now also teaming up as business owners.
To commemorate Daniel’s 40th birthday, Pete decided to surprise his brother with a hoodie and hat for his birthday, and came up with the idea of creating his own logo for Daniel.
The duo, both originally from Brixton, were quick to notice the attention from friends and family on Instagram over the articles.
The response surprised both brothers, as the thoughtful gift gained momentum and became a business opportunity: Brixton Street Wear.
Now, Pete has spoken to Metro.co.uk about what their incredible relationship is like and why they think they have lessons to teach the likes of Louis Vuitton.
He said: ‘We have a different father and the same mother, so when my father and mother split up, my father took me and obviously Dan stayed with our mother and grandmother by his side.
“But we were only about five years old when they split up, my father moved away from Brixton due to family issues between the two families and we moved a bit further south. [Dan and I] We never saw each other after I was about four or five years old.
They got back in touch after his father died when Pete was 10, and saw each other a few times over the next few months.
However, they once again drifted apart, but a chance meeting when they were teenagers turned out to be vital in getting them back together.
“We didn’t meet until we were around 17 years old,” Pete continued. ‘I was walking down Clapham Common and I saw this kid and I thought, ‘I swear that guy is my brother?’
‘I didn’t know this at the time, but he was with a lot of naughty people and he was going to come and hit me because I was watching!’
Pete asked one of his classmates to ask if the now very familiar teen with a beard was, in fact, his brother, and luckily he got the answer he expected.
Since then their relationship has gone from strength to strength and Pete even taught Daniel ‘The Knowledge’ to help him become a London taxi driver.
Their Brixton Street Wear business venture came about after Pete designed Dan a logo “with things quite unique to Dan”: his initials DOC and the recording logo for the former DJ, and the year 1976, when he was born.
But it soon took off: ‘People started asking us for it, caps or t-shirts, but originally we only sold it for what it cost to make.
‘Soon, I was like, ‘Shit, maybe we’ve got something here!’ When we started it, we immediately started giving back.
“We launched a collection and gave all the proceeds to the Brixton Street gym and it’s escalated like that and we’ve raised our spirits.”
He also wants to get the attention of the big guns, adding: ‘Look, if we can do it, any brand can do it. You’ve got the big Louis Vuittons, they could all do the same.
‘On Black Friday, we don’t go on sale, we put out a new collection and give 100% and the profits to any project or community project. It doesn’t have to be a charity, it could just be something in the area.
“We’ve done it throughout the pandemic, during lockdowns, we did things for the soup kitchen, Resole, men’s mental health, spoken word nights and more.”
They’ve recently collaborated with brands like Footlocker and Soho House because they’re sure Brixton Street Wear is about to ‘explode’.
“Everything is open to us, we never say no to anything,” Pete added, and the couple often use friends and clients to showcase their collections.
“If it comes to us and we can…for us, it’s time, honestly, we’d work with anyone if it resonates with us.”
The couple is eager to participate in more podcasts to help promote their brand and the spirit behind it.
They’re even starting to catch on, as he concluded: “We’ve just been through Shoreditch at the King Of Trainers store, which is nice.”
“But it’s fun, it’s almost appropriate that people come just to see us, which is crazy, honestly, it’s weird, but it’s great, it’s unbelievably fun.”
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